Neck Pain in Fairbanks, Alaska
Your neck, also called the cervical spine, begins at the base of the skull and contains seven small vertebrae. Incredibly, the cervical spine supports the full weight of your head, which is on average about 12 pounds. While the cervical spine can move your head in nearly every direction, this flexibility makes the neck very susceptible to pain and injury.
The neck’s susceptibility to injury is due in part to biomechanics. Activities and events that affect cervical biomechanics include extended sitting, repetitive movement, accidents, falls and blows to the body or head, normal aging, and everyday wear and tear. Neck pain can be very bothersome, and it can have a variety of causes.
Typical causes of neck pain in Fairbanks, Alaska
Injury and Accidents: A sudden forced movement of the head or neck in any direction and the resulting “rebound” in the opposite direction is known as whiplash. The sudden “whipping” motion injures the surrounding and supporting tissues of the neck and head. Muscles react by tightening and contracting, creating muscle fatigue, which can result in pain and stiffness. Severe whiplash can also be associated with injury to the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, muscles, and nerve roots. Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash. Click here for more important information. With our icy roads and frequent poor driving conditions, car accidents tend to be our most frequent cause of neck pain in Fairbanks, Alaska.
Aging: Degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease directly affect the spine. Loss of spinal motion that occurs as a result of previous injuries (car accidents, falls, etc) or sedentary lifestyles (desk jobs, etc) lead to progressive stiffness and joint decay. Spaulding Chiropractic Clinic aims to improve joint motion with gentle Chiropractic adjustments.
- Osteoarthritis, a common joint disorder, causes progressive deterioration of cartilage. The body reacts by forming bone spurs that affect joint motion.
- Spinal stenosis causes the small nerve passageways in the vertebrae to narrow, compressing and trapping nerve roots. Stenosis may cause neck, shoulder, and arm pain, as well as numbness, when these nerves are unable to function normally.
- Degenerative disc disease can cause reduction in the elasticity and height of intervertebral discs. Over time, a disc may bulge or herniate, causing tingling, numbness, and pain that runs into the arm.
- It is important to note that regular Chiropractic care helps prevent these diseases of neglect and decay. Just like brushing your teeth helps keep your teeth healthy, regular Chiropractic helps keep your spine healthy!
Daily Life: Poor posture, obesity, and weak abdominal muscles often disrupt spinal balance, causing the neck to bend forward to compensate. Stress and emotional tension can cause muscles to tighten and contract, resulting in pain and stiffness. Postural stress can contribute to chronic neck pain with symptoms extending into the upper back and the arms. Additionally, our modern lifestyles are often very sedentary and this lack of overall movement leads to progressive stiffness of our spine. Even hunching over and holding our muscles tight as we hunker down to be out in the cold can lead to progressive stiffness over time. Most neck and back pain has stiff joints as the root cause.
Chiropractic Care of Neck Pain
During your visit, your doctor of chiropractic will perform exams to locate the source of your pain and will ask you questions about your current symptoms and remedies you may have already tried. For example:
- When did the pain start?
- What have you done for your neck pain?
- Does the pain radiate or travel to other parts of your body?
- Does anything reduce the pain or make it worse?
Your doctor of chiropractic will also do physical and neurological exams. In the physical exam, your doctor will observe your posture, range of motion, and physical condition, noting movement that causes pain. Your doctor will feel your spine, note its curvature and alignment, and feel for muscle spasm.
In some instances, your Fairbanks chiropractor might order tests to help diagnose your condition. An x-ray can show narrowed disc space, fractures, bone spurs, or arthritis. Spaulding Chiropractic Clinic can evaluate your neck pain in Fairbanks, Alaska, with digital x-ray. Digital x-rays show the image and a computer screen and are available for viewing within seconds. This saves the patient time and money.
Chiropractors are conservative care doctors; their scope of practice does not include the use of drugs or surgery. If your chiropractor diagnoses a condition outside of this conservative scope, he or she will refer you to the appropriate medical physician or specialist.
A neck adjustment (also known as a cervical manipulation) is a precise procedure applied to the joints of the neck, usually by hand. A neck adjustment works to improve the mobility of the spine and to restore range of motion. Patients typically notice an improved ability to turn and tilt the head, and a reduction of pain.
Of course, your chiropractor will develop a program of care that may combine more than one type of treatment, depending on your personal needs. In addition to manipulation, the treatment plan may include massage, rehabilitative exercises, or physical therapies.
If you are suffering from neck pain in Fairbanks, Alaska, call us today to see how we can help. We have been serving the Fairbanks community for over 50 years and we are the trusted local source for Chiropractic, Massage, and Acupuncture. 907-456-4234.